Expression Interrupted

Journalists and academics bear the brunt of the massive crackdown on freedom of expression in Turkey. Scores of them are currently subject to criminal investigations or behind bars. This website is dedicated to tracking the legal process against them.

Journalists in State of Emergency - 76

Journalists in State of Emergency - 76

Arrest orders for 34 media workers issued; eight former TRT workers formally arrested


On July 21, arrest warrants for 34 individuals who previously worked for media organizations which were shut down under State of Emergency cabinet decrees were issued. They are reportedly under suspicion of having used the chat software ByLock, allegedly used by the Fethullah Gülen network.

The state-owned Anatolia only shared the number of media employees, without providing any names. The agency said the 34 individuals were to be detained by police as part of an investigation being conducted by the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office.

Eight TRT employees under arrest

On July 19, eight former employees of the state-owned Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) network were imprisoned under arrest rulings by a court for “membership of a terrorist organization.”

Media reports said that in Istanbul, warrants to detain 18 people who formerly worked for TRT were issued and that ten of these were captured. One was released after his or her police interrogation.

The other nine who were referred to court after their police interrogation were reporter Efnan Y., chief technician Faysal A., engineers Serkan C. and Özgür Ş., chief technician Satı D., production assistants Şule R., Uğur Y., Tuba E. and Yunus G. Eight of these individuals were put under arrest while one was released under judicial control measures.

Media reports didn’t contain information on the identity of the person released, making it impossible for P24 to update its list of imprisoned journalists.

On July 12, the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s office issued detention warrants for 34 former TRT employees without providing names.

Local Mardin journalist detained

Editor-in-chief of the Arena newspaper published in Mardin province Ufuk Güngörmüş was detained by police on July 21 as part of an inquiry being conducted in the city.

Güngörmüş was detained for using the ByLock app, reports said. Thirty-four people were detained in Mardin on the same grounds while a total of 48 arrest warrants were issued in the province, reports said.

Detention period for Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employee extended

On July 19, authorities said the detention period for Özgürlükçü Demokrasi employee Zeki Erdem was extended for another seven days.

Erdem was taken into police custody on July 11 while traveling to Diyarbakır from Adana province.

Erdem was detained at the sports hall of a local high school. It wasn’t immediately clear why Erdem was detained because there is a confidentiality ruling in place on his case.

Die Welt goes to Constitutional Court for imprisoned correspondent

Die Welt N24 publishing house, a group of companies which German daily Die Welt is part of, has petitioned the Turkish Constitutional Court for the newspaper’s Turkey correspondent, Deniz Yücel, who has been imprisoned in Turkey since February.

A statement from the group noted that the petition was filed on July 18 and that it sought to take the violation of its press freedom rights due to the imprisonment of Yücel.

P24 Legal Team’s lawyers Veysel Ok and Ferat Çağıl, representing Yücel, had also applied to the Constitutional Court on behalf of the journalist in March this year.

RTÜK cancels permits for five TV stations using emergency powers

The Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) has canceled the broadcasting licenses held by five television stations which failed to obey a 10-day suspension penalty -- a power which was recently given to the body under Turkey’s State of Emergency rules.

This marks the first time RTÜK used its new powers.

The five television stations whose permits were canceled for not following the suspension order are: Anadolu Yurdum TV, Genç TV, HLT TV, Son Hedef TV and Yeni Sinema TV.


For a full list of journalists imprisoned in Turkey; media outlets and associations shut down under State of Emergency, click here.